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Epilepsy Behav. 2013 Apr;27(1):121-3. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2012.12.035. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Focal cortical dysplasia is more common in boys than in girls.

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Department of Pediatrics and Neurology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Genetics and environment likely contribute to the development of medically intractable epilepsy; however, in most patients the specific combination of etiologies remains unknown. Here, we undertook a multicenter retrospective cohort study of sex distribution in pediatric patients undergoing epilepsy surgery and carried out a secondary analysis of the same population subdivided by histopathologic diagnosis. In the multicenter cohort of patients with intractable epilepsy undergoing surgery regardless of etiology (n=206), 63% were boys, which is significantly more boys than expected for the general population (Fisher exact two-tailed p=0.017). Subgroup analysis found that of the 90 patients with a histopathologic diagnosis of focal cortical dysplasia, 72% were boys, giving an odds ratio (OR) of 2.5 (95% CI, 1.34 to 4.62) for male sex. None of the other etiologies had a male sex predominance. Future studies could examine the biological relevance and potential genetic and pathophysiological mechanisms of this observation.

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